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Zenit hit back to avoid Dundalk upset

Dundalk's Daryl Horgan battles with Zenit's Giuliano

Dundalk’s Daryl Horgan again showed why he is being linked with a call-up to Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland squad

Dundalk conceded two goals in six minutes to slip to defeat against Russian giants Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League group game in Dublin.

Robbie Benson’s 52nd-minute goal suggested another famous Dundalk European win was on the cards.

But a poor clearance by Dundalk keeper Gabriel Sava gifted an equaliser to Robert Mak on 71 and Brazilian star Giuliano soon hit the winner

Sava saved an injury-time Mauricio penalty but Zenit had done enough.

Dundalk will look ruefully look back on a key moment in the 60th minute when Dane Massey headed a Daryl Horgan cross against the Zenit woodwork.

But 11 minutes later, the League of Ireland champions’ keeper Sava totally miskicked a back-pass from Chris Shields which allowed Giuliano to set up Mak for a close-range finish.

Brilliant work by Belgian star Axel Witsel set up Giuliano’s winner but Dundalk remain second in Group D after Maccabi Tel-Aviv earned a 2-1 away win over AZ Alkmaar.

More to follow.

Live Text

Match ends, Dundalk 1, Zenit St Petersburg 2.

Second Half ends, Dundalk 1, Zenit St Petersburg 2.

Offside, Dundalk. Dane Massey tries a through ball, but Dean Shiels is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Dane Massey (Dundalk) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrick McEleney.

Foul by Axel Witsel (Zenit St Petersburg).

Dean Shiels (Dundalk) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Domenico Criscito (Zenit St Petersburg) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dean Shiels (Dundalk).

Penalty saved! Mauricio (Zenit St Petersburg) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.

Brian Gartland (Dundalk) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Penalty Zenit St Petersburg. Mauricio draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Brian Gartland (Dundalk) after a foul in the penalty area.

Hand ball by Dean Shiels (Dundalk).

Attempt missed. Ciarán Kilduff (Dundalk) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Daryl Horgan.

Substitution, Dundalk. Dean Shiels replaces Chris Shields.

Artem Dzyuba (Zenit St Petersburg) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Andrew Boyle (Dundalk).

Attempt saved. Patrick McEleney (Dundalk) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Dane Massey.

Foul by Luka Djordjevic (Zenit St Petersburg).

Chris Shields (Dundalk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution, Dundalk. John Mountney replaces Robbie Benson.

Substitution, Zenit St Petersburg. Luka Djordjevic replaces Robert Mak.

Goal! Dundalk 1, Zenit St Petersburg 2. Giuliano (Zenit St Petersburg) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Axel Witsel.

Substitution, Zenit St Petersburg. Mauricio replaces Javi García.

Substitution, Dundalk. Ciarán Kilduff replaces David McMillan.

Goal! Dundalk 1, Zenit St Petersburg 1. Robert Mak (Zenit St Petersburg) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Domenico Criscito.

Domenico Criscito (Zenit St Petersburg) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Domenico Criscito (Zenit St Petersburg).

David McMillan (Dundalk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Giuliano (Zenit St Petersburg) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Corner, Zenit St Petersburg. Conceded by Andrew Boyle.

Attempt blocked. Aleksandr Kokorin (Zenit St Petersburg) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Domenico Criscito.

Javi García (Zenit St Petersburg) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Chris Shields (Dundalk).

Dane Massey (Dundalk) hits the left post with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Daryl Horgan with a cross following a set piece situation.

Substitution, Zenit St Petersburg. Aleksandr Kokorin replaces Oleg Shatov.

Alexander Anyukov (Zenit St Petersburg) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Alexander Anyukov (Zenit St Petersburg).

David McMillan (Dundalk) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Luís Neto (Zenit St Petersburg) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37688326